Ethics and Research on Bodies in the Jurisdiction of Coroners or Medical Examiners

Stephen Cordner, Fiona Leahy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


An autopsy is a significant event and should not be undertaken for simply narrow purposes. Forensic pathology institutions, whether in coronial or medical examiner jurisdictions, should be actively engaged in research, either directly or by facilitating access to bodies, tissues and data. The challenge, assuming that resources are available, is to do this lawfully, ethically, and in accordance with community expectations. Failure in the challenge will be wrong and cause damage to the reputation of the institution. The risks associated with such research therefore need to be managed. An approach which is transparent and based on respect for the deceased and consent for the activity, while no guarantee of success, is likely to engender community confidence in the activity and in those undertaking it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-311
Number of pages11
JournalAcademic Forensic Pathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2013


  • Bodies
  • Ethics
  • Forensic pathology
  • Research

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